BALMAS - Working Packages




Project Balmas is a project whose activities rely on effective implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention in the Adriatic, and also aim to reduce the risk of introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.

At the same time, the project aims to introduce a uniform system of ballast water management in all Adriatic ports, providing support to the relevant institutions for faster and more efficient decision-making on the management of ballast water (DSS - Decision Support System), the establishment of an Early Warning System on emergencies in ports (EWS - Early Warning System) and establishing zero-state in ports and continuous monitoring of the harbor ecosystem.







In November 2013 the Strategic Project BALMAS: BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR ADRIATIC SEA PROTECTION started and will end in March 2016. The project involves 17 Partners and 7 Associate Partners from 6 countries around the Adriatic Sea. The Leading Partner is Institute for water of the Republic of Slovenia.

Project BALMAS addresses the protection from ballast water pollution in the Adriatic area, and risk prevention and protection and enhancement of the marine and coastal environment. The project addresses the problem of Ballast Water, which are necessary for safe navigation, but on the other hand represent a prominent vector for the transfer of Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens (HAOP) across natural barriers. In 2004 the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) was adopted to provide a globally uniform Ballast Water Management (BWM) approach, and is now nearing entry into force. As the ballast water issue is very complex, the implementation of the BWM Convention is far from being simple. Adriatic countries recognised that the Ballast Water issue is very critical and complex, and that a key barrier is the lack of data (e.g. the presence and invasiveness of HAOP in Adriatic ports, Ballast Water uptake and discharge activities, sediment disposal, chemical pollution with Ballast Water) and knowledge (e.g. port baselines and monitoring, Ballast Water sampling for compliance control, risk assessment, how to deal with non-compliant vessels, early warning system, effectiveness of BWM systems and measures) to enable Adriatic countries to implement BWM Convention requirements through a common BWM plan, and provide for effectiveness with a Decision Support System (DSS). A strategic common cross-border approach was recognised to be crucial also because of shared, specific, vulnerable, economically important, semi-enclosed environment, in which HAOP as well as international shipping cannot be limited by political borders. The BALMAS proposal integrates necessary activities to enable a long-term, environmentally efficient, and financially and maritime transport sustainable implementation of Ballast Water Management measures in the Adriatic. Thus, the port baseline surveys in 12 biggest ports in the Adriatic already have started. This will be followed by ballast water sampling and monitoring in ports.

The general BALMAS objective is a common cross-border System linking all Adriatic research, experts and national responsible authorities to avoid the unwanted risk to the environment and humans from the transfer of HAOP, through the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments.
Also an Early Warning System for ships and the competent authorities will be established for environmental protection in case in the ports will be identified HAOP, in purpose to maximise environmental protection and protection of all sea users and to minimise or eliminate the transfer of HAOP with ballast waters. This will enable Adriatic countries to implement the requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of ships' ballast water and sediment.

Two regular meetings of the project partners have been performed so far, first in January 2014 in Piran (Slovenia), and second in April 2014 in Split (Croatia). The third will follow in October 2014 in Kotor (Montenegro).

More information about the project, project partners and ongoing activities are available on the project website



BW as the Vector of Introduction of HAOP in the Adriatic Sea nad BWM options

4.1. Analysis of shipping patterns in the Adriatic

4.2. BW discharge patterns in the Adriatic

4.3. BWM methods for vessels

4.4. Sediment management options for ports and shipyards

News and events

European Shipping Summit 2023

Europan Shipping Summit was held in Brussels on 19-20 September 2023. Strategic importance of shipping and seafarers for the EU economy and security was emphasized as it transports more than 72% of the EU's external trade and secures the supply of essential goods such as food, energy, pharmaceuticals and raw materials. European shipping represents almost 40% of the global fleet. Important aspects of the green transition in shipping were discussed, such as low and zero carbon shipping, clean fuels, innovative technologies, vessel designs, as well as how adequate ship finance is key for implementation of sustainbility and achieving green transition and climate objectives.


Signed Collective Agreement for seafarers on ships that carry out transportation in liner coastal shipping

On June 29, 2023, in the morning hours in Rijeka, on the premises of Jadrolinija, the Collective Agreement was signed for seafarers on ships that carry out transportation in coastal shipping.

The Vice President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, President of the Jadrolinija Board David Sopta, representatives of the Croatian Shipowners' Association Mare Nostrum, representatives of trade union partners and other esteemed guests were present at the ceremonial signing of the Agreement.

The signatories of the agreement are the Croatian Shipowners Association Mare Nostrum, the Croatian Seamen's Union and the Independent Croatian Passenger Ship Seamen's Union.


118th Session of the Assembly of the Croatian Shipowners' Association Mare Nostrum

On Thursday, May 18, 2023, the 118th session of the Assembly of the Croatian Shipowners' Association Mare Nostrum was held at the premises of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Pula.


Meeting about the Supervision of Croatian ships in foreign ports by port state inspectors

The meeting about the Supervision of Croatian ships in foreign ports by port state inspectors was held on April 4, 2023.


Happy Easter!


Croatian Shipowners’ Association Mare Nostrum is a full member of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA)

From 1 January 2023, Croatian Shipowners’ Association Mare Nostrum is a full member of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA). 


Towards a more sustainable maritime transport: research and innovation for route optimization in Puglia and in Croatia

Is it possible to improve and enhance maritime transport and, at the same time, contribute to reduce emissions in the field of mobility? The pathway towards a more sustainable ferry transportation can now benefit from a new and effective routing tool. This is thanks to the GUTTA project.

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